In Kindergarten, our kiddos learn their “Friends of Ten“. In other words, they learn all the combinations that make ten (ex., 2 + 8, 3 + 7, etc.). In 1st grade, as students begin learning their basic addition facts, they apply that knowledge in a strategy known as “make a ten” to help make sense of facts that might otherwise be hard to memorize, such as 8 + 4 or 9 + 5. To use the strategy, students decompose one of the addends to make a ten from the other. If you look at the example pictured below, the 4 is decomposed (split) into 3 and 1. The 3 is combined with the 7 to make 10, and then the 1 is added for 11.
My good cyber friend Amy Burton needed an activity her kiddos could use to practice this strategy, and this little workstation activity is what I came up with for her. You can grab yours here. If you’re looking for activities to practice composing and decomposing numbers to 10, you might like my Fishy Business unit.